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18 March 2018 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm Seven Stars Center
The quartet includes Village Harmony and Northern Harmony leaders and veterans Larry Gordon, Emily Weatherill, Sinead O’Mahoney and Emma Rothman. The program features traditional songs from Corsica, Georgia and Bulgaria, and new and traditional American shape-note songs and Appalachian harmonies.
Larry Gordon is the founder and director of Village Harmony and conductor of Onion River Chorus in Montpelier, with over forty years of experience leading singing groups of many kinds. He has led Village Harmony since 1990, including many overseas camps in South Africa, Georgia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Italy, Germany and England. His select touring ensemble Northern Harmony has done 18 European tours since 1993.
Emily Weatherill is a recent Sharon Academy graduate now at Marlboro College with four years of experience in Village Harmony traveling singing camps as well as Revels Teens. Most recently she was part of Northern Harmony’s nine week tour in England, France, Switzerland and Italy. She has a particularly rich low alto voice with a fluid command of ornamentation.
Soprano Sinead O’Mahoney has sung with various Village Harmony ensembles since 2008, including overseas camps in Georgi a and Bosnia and a two month Northern Harmony tour. She is now a Village Harmony camp leader, assistant leader of Boston Harmony and presently teaches middle school vocal music in Richmond. She has wonderful command of different singing styles ranging from South African to Balkan to classical.
Emma Rothman is a recent graduate of Hamshire College who has sung with Village Harmony since she was 12. She was part of the two most recent Northern Harmony European tours. She has an intuitive feel for the syncopated rhythms of South African music, a fluid command of Corsican ornamentation, and long time familiarity with Appalachian singing styles.
Traditional Corsican singing, passed down through oral tradition, features two highly ornamented an improvisational upper voices over a more sustained harmonic bass. The excitement for the listeners and singers both comes from the impassioned delivery, the intense, playful interaction between the parts, the surprising harmonic shifts which ripple from voice to voice, and the buzzing vocal timbre which creates an extremely powerful sound rich in overtones.
Georgia’s ancient three-part harmony singing tradition features a dark, sonorous vocal quality, and startling harmonies, unlike anything in European music. The Balkan songs feature the characteristic bright, “hard-voiced” Balkan vocal timbre, with dissonant harmonies frequently based on drones, and irregular dance meters.